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Neighbour complaining about our garden lights

357 replies

Slave2love · 25/11/2019 11:09

Very petty and silly subject I know but here goes.
We have a small hedge on the edge of our front lawn to separate our garden from the neighbour's driveway. (Only recently planted, very small at this stage) further in on our lawn we have put a few small solar lights. Next doors drive is only just wide enough to squeeze 2 cars side by side and there is very little room to open doors etc. Until we put the hedge and lights in they were opening their car door fully over our garden in order to get out (also stepping on our land at times). Now I appreciate that we have made it awkward for them to open the doors fully now but surely they are not entitled to use our garden in order to get out of their car? They are new to the street but we knew of them previously and children are actually in the same class at school. Neighbour has asked this morning if we can move the solar lights. All has been pleasant with them up until now despite them being quite selfish neighbours. I could understand if the lights were on the boundary line but they are much further in. I feel it is them who have created the problem by parking 2 cars on a drive only really suitable for one. AIBU to not want to move the lights?

OP posts:
Laughterisbest · 27/11/2019 10:40


Is your post tongue in cheek or do you really think it's ok to use your neighbour's lawn when you get in and out your car?

BlackCatSleeping · 27/11/2019 10:46

I was thinking more something like this that just sticks into the ground. Maybe you can find it at garden centers?

Neighbour complaining about our garden lights
jillybeanclevertips · 27/11/2019 10:55

Seems like the consensus of opinion is to keep your lights and explain to your neighbours that you are also going to let the hedge grow higher and thicker, and you'd appreciate them not stepping on it. Or plant nettles there, (You like the tea, right ?) Brambles grow easy too. Land mines would be my next suggestion- or get a dog and put the pooh there.

SaveKevin · 27/11/2019 11:28

Hawthorn would be much better for the wildlife Wink

I’ve also seen Christmas light picket fences. That would look stunning.

I don’t think your being petty at all, it’s your garden, not a drive. Sometimes on my drive it’s a squish so the kids climb out my side. I wouldn’t dream of expecting my neighbours to change their garden to accommodate me.

I am worried about your hedge being able to grow (it may stop if it’s constantly battered by doors) and the person who suggested a support I think is spot on. Take down the lights but put up a support at the same time. You’ve done what she asked, but your also making the point that this is where your hedge will be. The alternative is maybe a few tall conifers between the box - although I’m guessing if you liked conifers you’d have gone with them in the first place. - but you could have them in large moveable pots for when the box grows??

drinkygin · 27/11/2019 11:44

I’m truly amazed at some of the responses on here!
@Slave2love do NOT get rid of the lights! Cheeky fuckers. Why should they be allowed to trample your grass and plants? Even if they were considerate neighbours this would be totally unreasonable of them!

TreestumpsAndTrampolines · 27/11/2019 12:11


This is the exact situation we have - get the rubber mats - bloody brilliant - you can mow over them, and you don't even notice them most of the time, but the grass keeps growing, and you don't have slippery muddy puddles

I got mine for less than that just down at the local DIY shop.

scubadive · 27/11/2019 12:54

I thought from your post they were being unreasonable but seeing your picture I think you are.

You have planted the hedge way too close to the boundary, there is no room for it to grow, when it does it will be over their drive and you will need to walk in their driveway to trim it.

The lights look ridiculous, people usually put these either side of a path for lighting etc, they have so obviously been put there to stop them getting out of their car, they stick up too much and it’s just mean spirited. Many people have 2 cars, be flexible with your neighbour.

Educator66 · 27/11/2019 13:01

Unless those lights are causing light pollution to your neighbours, there is nothing they can demand you do about your lights. To cause a nuisance the lights would need to be in a position where they illuminate next doors rooms - if they do and you do not angle them away, you could be in trouble, If they don't then there is nothing that they can do. Your land is your property, the neighbours have no right to go on your land without permission. They should have thought about how much parking they needed before they purchased the property - their cars, their problem - not yours!

Melroses · 27/11/2019 13:17

Your arrangement looks similar to ours (with us as your neighbour), only the neighbours have put in a conifer hedge where you have your box. The original neighbours alternated the conifers with roses, but fortunately subsequent neighbours got rid of them.

Our original drive was only just wide enough, so it is extended across the front of the house in a curve to make room for more cars and we can still have flower beds between us and the road. The hedge is not a problem.

Slave2love · 27/11/2019 13:20

Scubadive the lights weren't put there on purpose to be spiteful to the neighbours and the hedge will never be left to grow high, it was just as a visual boundary. Even if it stays as it is that's fine. You don't like the look of the lights fine, but when looking at our front garden (not pictured) as a whole they look very presentable. But each to their own I guess. We have the same strip of lights and hedge next to our drive so it is symmetrical. Cant say we are putting obstructions there for the neighbours as surely we have created the same down our side. You seem to have a different idea of where these types of lights are meant to go but in fact they are helping to light up next doors drive meaning they can actually park better in the dark. We are not being mean spirited, we just want to be able to have our garden as we like it and not be dictated to by someone who actually has no right to swing her car door over on to our land. Their original drive could only fit one car so this was never an issue before as they had plenty of room to open doors and get out. They have since widened the drive and parked another car side by side except the drive isnt really a double width drive hence why they are now needing to park right up to the boundary line. If they parked the other car on the road then they could park one on the drive and have plenty of room to open doors and my lights and tiny hedge wouldnt be an issue for her. But it seems she has caused the initial issue and now somehow it's my fault. Go figure.

OP posts:
MyShinyWhiteTeeth · 27/11/2019 13:24

Tell them you'll be putting up a fence so the lights won't bother them.

My parents had this from their neighbours. They ended up parking over my parents drive so my parents couldn't easily get one of their cars into their garage as it was awkward.
The fence worked but the neighbours were very upset about it and were difficult for years afterwards.

GuyFawkesDay · 27/11/2019 15:00

Fence then. Easy.
Even if it is 'on' your side butting right up to the boundary line, you'll be able to stop them taking the mickey by using your drive.

I wouldn't even ask. Just get on.

Either that or buy much bigger hedging plants to replace the smaller ones. Plant them a foot into your land and they'll fill out quickly. Hawthorn is excellent for native wildlife and nicely prickly too.

Walkalottalkalot · 27/11/2019 16:00

A fence. A TALL fence. (To protect your hedge, obviously 😉)

Alpal1 · 27/11/2019 17:23

Neighbours and parking, ouch got the t shirt on that one.
They have obviously got used to encroaching on your land and are not going to like your hedge when it grows!
I think move the lights if it’s not going to make a huge difference to you but point out that the hedge is going to grow so they will need to sort something else out for the future.
They will probably view you as a meany that has taken away a benefit rather than someone who allowed them to park conveniently for months.

elmosducks · 27/11/2019 17:34

Mn law states a diagram must be included

Poppiesway1 · 27/11/2019 17:36

@MrsBadcrumble123 The council will allow a planning applicatikn that will block access, ive just been in that positition. A builder submitted plans for a new build which blocked mine and my neighbours access. Apparently it was a civil matter and they wouldnt take it into considerations Angry ive now brought the land so no more issues Grin

Poppiesway1 · 27/11/2019 17:37

That was actually for @Elieza apologies mrs crumbles

BlouseAndSkirt · 27/11/2019 17:51

The thing is that with 2 cars tight on their drive people will cut across / walk along your lawn to get to their door. You need something taller than can be stepped over until the hedge grows.

And box is v slow.

TheWifeAtHome · 27/11/2019 18:01

I think a nice row of festive nutcracker soldiers along the edge of your lawn/thier driveway will look fabulous over Christmas.

Goldensummer · 27/11/2019 18:07

Personally I'd put up a fence as a boundary high enough so they can't step over it and thin enough it will never impact on the space in their drive.

A hedge will no doubt grow over their side, even with regular trimming.

elmosducks · 27/11/2019 18:28

Just saw photo (for some reason it di load before).

Do not move. Mark your Territory and explain why to them.

GuyFawkesDay · 27/11/2019 20:06

I think you've planted box hedging?
It does get bigger but it's notoriously slow to get there.

If you aren't going to fence I'd definitely replace with more substantial hedging and move them in a bit to allow the plants to fill out.

GreatOne · 27/11/2019 20:32

If shes cf enough to mention it again, say you like the aesthetic you've created and couldn't bare the asymmetry of changing it.

FelicisNox · 27/11/2019 21:49

YANBU or selfish if these lights are small, you are if they are flood lights and are disturbing your neighbours.

Personal preferences aside, this is a boundary issue, the issue being they are on your boundary regularly with no regard for your personal space or the fact they are trampling all over your garden.

Invite them for coffee to discuss options and to remind them they are on YOUR land as a courtesy and be clear that a workable solution needs to be found or the lights will be staying and a fence/wall be erected.

Always start off reasonable but not to the extent of all else.

anxiousbean · 27/11/2019 22:17

I can't believe she was cheeky enough to ask you to move your lights in your own garden! You clearly want the boundary respected - which is not at all unreasonable. Would she like to use your sitting room too? maybe hers is not quite big enough!!

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